Let’s be honest: everyone wants to live the idealized version of the digital nomad life. But the important word there is ‘idealized.’ From the outside, it can seem like it’s just a life of traveling and adventure, with a little bit of work thrown in from time to time. But the reality is different. In fact, it’s pretty much the reverse: it’s work with a little bit of travel and adventure thrown in. The gift of digital nomading is that it allows you to sample another city with relative ease.
But that won’t happen on its own. You’ll need to work to make it happen. In this post, we’ll run through some tried and tested tips that’ll ensure your digital nomad life is successful from beginning to end, whenever that may be.
Be Truly Remote
This is a pretty significant one: you need to have a fully remote job. While it might be OK if you have to attend in-person events every few months, if your employers ask you to check in in person more frequently than that, then you might have to rethink your plans — or have an open conversation with your bosses. You have to be committed to making the digital nomad life work, and you can’t do that if you have one foot in and one foot out. After all, you’ll probably have to give up your apartment lease before you can get moving. But it’s a jump worth taking — no one ever regrets living their best life!
Choose the Right Location
The world is your oyster when you’re traveling, but as we said above, when you’re a digital nomad you’re not really a traveler. It’s not possible to throw a dart at a map and just go wherever you want because, after all, you’ll need to work — and, in all likelihood, you’ll depend on a certain level of infrastructure for that to be possible. It might be nice to think that you’ll live and work on a remote, tropical island, but if there’s no internet there, then it’s probably not going to happen.
It’s recommended to conduct plenty of research before deciding on a destination. There’s a wealth of information out there for digital nomads, so wherever you’re thinking of going, you’ll find that there’s plenty of advice being offered.
Nobody wants to have their dream life interrupted by trouble with the law. Yet that’s a position many digital nomads find themselves in, all because they forget to check whether it is legal for them to work in their chosen country. For instance, if you’re from Europe, then you can’t expect to land in New York and continue working unless you have the correct visa. It’s not possible to work on a tourist visa in the United States. Most of the well-trodden digital nomad destinations have policies that allow people to work there, but you usually have to apply — and that means applying before you begin working.
One of the main plus points of living the digital nomad life is that it allows you to travel without draining your bank account. Most people slowly — or sometimes quickly — burn through their cash when they’re far from home. Your superpower is that you’ll be making money while you travel, and if you choose your destination wisely, then you may even save money. Still, you’ll need to access that money; it’ll do you no good if it’s just sitting in your bank account back home. Before setting off, look at opening an account with a website that allows you to send money to Canada, Spain, or anywhere else you might end up on your journey. It’s also recommended to look up the cost of living of your chosen destination before traveling, so you have a good sense of how much everything will cost once you’re there.
Get a Base
You might stay in a hotel for the first few days when you land in a new destination on your digital nomad adventure, but after that, you’ll want to find somewhere a bit more long-term. You’ll only end up spending more money than necessary by staying in a hotel, and you’ll have none of the home comforts that can make life more enjoyable. Wherever you’re going, there’ll be companies that offer short-term furnished apartments, but just remember to wait until you’re there to take one, since scams do exist! If you don’t want to rent your own apartment, you can take a look at coliving spaces, which are basically hostels (but often with private rooms) that cater to digital nomads.
Work in a Coworking Space
You’ll be doing yourself a huge favor by working in a coworking space. If you don’t know what they are: they’re essentially communal offices where you can rent a desk. You’ll pay for it, but they’re often worth their weight in gold — working from home is pretty miserable, it’ll allow you to feel part of the destination you’re visiting, and you’ll meet loads of people. It’s a no-brainer.
First-time digital nomads often run into a common problem: they end up having too much fun, and their work takes a back seat. You can see how this happens — you’re visiting a new and exciting destination, so you’re probably more inclined to enjoy all that it has to offer rather than sit at a desk and do work. It’s best to take proactive steps to avoid falling into this trap. Sticking to a regular work schedule will do you a world of good since it’ll allow you to do all your work and then, once you’re finished for the day, you’ll know that you can go have fun guilt-free.
Ready to Move
Finally, remember that digital nomads have a lot of freedom, and you should use that to your advantage. If you’ve given a destination a try and it hasn’t worked out for you, then there’s value in packing your bags and moving somewhere else. You might love the next place that you visit!
Featured and internal image provided by Ketut Subiyanto and JÉSHOOTS; Pexels; Thanks!
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